Much of the reason Catholic Charities Community Services served more than 20,000 of the most vulnerable in our communities last year is due to the support of our community members, partners and friends. This includes those who volunteer time, or donate in-kind items, those who make financial contributions and all others who offer a helping hand. Katrina Vollmer is one of those who make a difference in the lives of our clients.
Katrina is a young member of our community and a proud member of American Heritage Girls, an organization that is “…dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country,” as stated in their mission statement. She was working on achieving the Stars & Stripes Award, which is the highest recognition available for American Heritage Girls. In this leadership role, Katrina was required to select a service project that would positively impact the community for generations to come. Katrina explored various options in Northern Arizona, but felt called to help Catholic Charities, and she focused on Juniper House in Flagstaff, part of the Community Re-Entry Program.
Community Re-Entry Program
All five Community Re-Entry homes in Northern Arizona provide safe, affordable, temporary group housing for those who have had justice involvement and need help getting their lives turned around. Each resident contributes to the house cooking and cleaning as they move forward by finding employment, attending substance abuse support groups, and checking in on schedule with their probation officers. Catholic Charities compassionate staff members are with them on their journey and offer support, resources and sometimes, a shoulder to cry on.
When Katrina thought about how she could impact the residents at Juniper House, she realized there was a need for an outdoor space for folks to enjoy, work and relax. Katrina proceeded to gather donations and volunteers who helped her put together a great cozy space for Juniper House. Demonstrating great leadership and project management skills, Katrina said the project took two Saturdays of very hard work to complete.
Creating a Lasting Impact
The residents are thrilled with their new outdoor space and are grateful to Katrina and her group of volunteers. One resident commented, “I am so grateful to have an outdoor space, it is exciting because I can come outside and work or meet with my case manager in a more comfortable area.” The gazebo is now fully functional, and residents are loving every minute spent there.